This week its all about my reading and a review of the best books I have read all year. It was so much fun to go back through my books and do a little memory lane reminiscing with all the incredible books I have read!

I will end up with 85 books finished this year, which includes Urlula K. Le Guin’s No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters. I have about 20 pages to go, so this will be super easy to finish. This is impressive for me because I began the year slowly and was 11 books behind my goal of 60 books when Summer Book Bingo started. So, to end up exceeding by 15 books ummm, that would be 25 books!! I am quite proud of myself!

I had hoped to finish Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach, but I don’t think that is likely to happen, but that means it will be #1 for 2018 and give me a very good start for next year!

Now, on to my best of books (and really, these were the best off – all books here received a 5-star rating from me!), starting with books I should have read long before I did:

  • 1984
  • Moby Dick, The Whale
  • Animal Farm
  • On the Road
  • The English Patient

If you have not read these, I highly recommend doing so. I listened to all of them and they had incredible narration (even Moby Dick which I listed to via the Moby Dick Big Read. Now, I understand that having 136 different narrators might put some people off, but they were ALL excellent.

Up next are books that are part of a series:

  • And, in first place is Louise Penny’s series with Armand Gamache. I read 4 books in this series this year: The Cruelest Month, A Rule Against Murder, Bury Your Dead, and The Brutal Telling. It seems incredible, but each story in this series is better than the one before. If you like a good mystery, this series is WONDERFUL!
  • Next, is Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department Q series. His latest installment, The Scarred Woman was SO GOOD! And, I love Carl Morck almost as much as I love Armand Gamache! Nordic Noir at its best!
  • I also loved Viveca Sten’s The Sandhamn Murder Series, especially Tonight You’re Dead.
  • Finally, Lotte and Soren Hammer’s series with Detective Konrad Simonsen, I found The Hanging to be the best one I have read thus far, but I enjoyed the other books in this series too.

I delved a bit into poetry this year, and was so pleasantly surprised by how much it resonated with me. I devoured two Mary Oliver Books: A Thousand Mornings, and Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver. I also loved Wendell Berry’s A Small Porch: Sabbath Poems 2014. Expect to see more poetry in 2018!

I also snuck in a children’s book: The Night Gardener, which was lovely in word and picture.

I read one biography: Hillary Clinton’s What Happened. It was cathartic for me and beautifully read by Hillary herself.

Now for the rest of the list and there are many, but trust me each of these books has stayed with me, they are thought provoking, moving, and at times uncomfortable. But, good books should stretch us and sometimes take us out of our comfort zone. These books do that and more:

  • The Secret History
  • I am the Messenger
  • A Gentleman in Moscow
  • The Nix
  • 4 3 2 1
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
  • And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
  • Lincoln in the Bardo
  • The Help
  • South of Broad
  • Beach Music
  • Millard Salter’s Last Day
  • Life After Life
  • Little Fires Everywhere
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing
  • Elmet
  • The History of Love

So much good reading this year, and I am equally excited about next year. I am participating in Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, because one thing I learned this year was that those books that were outside of my comfort zone were some of the best books I read all year long!

And, so, it is almost time to set my Goodreads goal next year, and I am going to challenge myself there as well with a goal of 100 books.

What about you? What was your favorite book (books?) of the year!

ALSO!! Because, simply-linked has been performing less than optimally (but what can I expect for a free application!) Please leave your blog link in comments. Thanks for your patience and participation as I work out the best way to make this work best for all of us!

P.S. Sorry about the bad photo today, but the light has not been cooperative at all. But, my sweater grows, I am almost done with the waist shaping and then have about an inch and a half before the colorwork at the bottom (and then on to the sleeves so, sadly there is no chance this will be done this year)

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